I I. NECESSITY OF THE MOST HOLY SACRIFICE Of THE MASS TO APPEASE THE DIVINE JUSTICE.
VII. What would be the condition of the earth, if there were no sun in the heavens ? Alas ! all would be darkness, barrenness, and supreme misery. And if we had not Holy Mass, what would become of us? Wretched, assuredly would our condition be, deprived of every good, overwhelmed with every evil ; We should then be a mark for the thunderbolts of God’s Justice. Some persons are astonished at the change taken place in the government of the world, by Divine Providence, since olden times. Then, indeed, He was called the God of armies, and spoke to His people in thunder and lightning, and as Holy Writ shows us, He punished sinners with all the rigors of His Justice. For one adultery He put five-and-twenty thousand of the tribe of Benjamin to the sword. On account of an act of vain-glory on the part of King David, who made a census of His kingdom, God sent a dreadful plague that swept away seventy thousand of the people. For one irreverent glance at the Ark, He slew fifty thousand Bethsamites. Yet, in our days, He bears with, not only vanities and curiosities without number, but crimes the most abominable and blasphemies the most frightful, which some Christians commit unceasingly against His Adorable Person. How, then, can we account for this difference in His mode of governing the world? Is it because our ingratitude is more excusable than that of former times ? Quite the contrary. We are far more inexcusable, as we have received greater graces than those under the Old Law. But, the true reason
of this astonishing clemency on the part of God, is the Holy Mass, in which the “Lamb without spot” offers Himself unceasingly to the Eternal Father to atone for the sins of men. Behold, then, the sun of Holy Church which scatters the clouds, and renders heaven again serene! Behold the heavenly rainbow which stills the storms of Divine wrath ! For myself, I firmly believe, that were it not for Holy Mass the world would, long ago, have been engulfed in the abyss, crushed under the heavy weight of its iniquities. Holy Mass is, then, the powerful and immovable pillar which sustains the world, and prevents it from falling back into original chaos. This thought, alone, ought to be sufficient to convince us of the absolute necessity of the Divine Sacrifice.
But this conviction is of little use unless we know how to profit by it, when present at Holy Mass. Hence, when assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, we ought to follow the example of the celebrated conqueror of the East Indies, Alphonsus D’Albequerque. This famous captain, seeing his fleet in danger of perishing during a dreadful storm, took a tender child and holding him up to heaven, he cried out : ” If we are sinners, this child is certainly free from sin, Then O Lord, for love of this innocent babe, save us guilty sinners from death.” Would you believe it ? The sight of that innocent child touched the Heart of God ; the storm was stilled : the sea became calm, and the horrors of an impending death were changed into transports of joy. Now, what think you, does the Eternal Father do when the priest raises the Sacred Host between heaven and earth, and presents to Him the innocence of His well-beloved Son ? Assuredly His tender mercies cannot resist the sight of this ” Lamb without spot.” Almighty God feels Himself, as it were, obliged to calm the storms that assail us, and to provide for all our necessities. Be assured, if it were not for this Adorable Victim, sacrificed once upon the Cross, and now daily offered upon the Altar, we should be forced to say to each other : ” Adieu until we meet in hell.” But, this treasure of Holy Mass revives our hopes and encourages us to look forward to the never fading crown of glory reserved for the elect in heaven. We ought, then, center our hearts’ affections on the altar and offer it the choicest and most precious gifts we can bestow; but, above all, we must honor, by our modesty and piety, the Adorable Presence of Jesus Christ; for He is the source of every blessing we receive from Heaven. Let us now join our hands, and with hearts thrilling with holy love, let us gratefully thank the Eternal Father for having placed us in the necessity of offering to Him this heavenly Victim ; and, still more, let us thank Him for the countless blessings we draw from Holy Mass, if we be but faithful, not only in offering this Sacrifice, but in offering it for the sublime ends for which
He bestowed a treasure so precious.
Daily Indulgence : The faithful who, at the elevation of the Sacred Host during Mass or when It is solemnly exposed, recite this ejaculation with faith, piety and love, are granted: An Indulgence; A plenary Indulgence once a week, if this pious practice is followed daily, on conditions of confession, Communion and prayer for the Intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff. (Pious X, re-script in his own hand, May18,1907, exhib. Jun12, 1907; S.P. Ap., jun 21,1927 and Jan26,1937.